Military-Grade Awesome

Pew! Pew!

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No discussion of lasers could ever be complete without at least one space laser, and courtesy of Soviet Russia, here is one such weapon. While this little ray gun doesn’t seem to have ever gone to space, it does appear (judging by some semi-literately translated scientific papers) to have been a functional low output prototype that might have actually worked as intended in the cold vacuum of space.

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Airborne Awesomosity

Air & Space Archives: For Rent

Deep in the depths of the Smithsonian Air & Space Fly Now! poster collection lie these advertising gems for the American Space Commerce Corporation. This company was acting as an agent selling launch space on a variety of Soviet launch vehicles, as well as room for whatever experiments you could dream up on the Mir station, in the late 1980s. While not a huge part of the poster collection, they are an interesting part of space history, especially in light of the current status of NASA’s mission capability.  A harbinger of things to come perhaps?

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